The Conversion Bureau: United We Stand

by RK_Striker_JK_5

Chapter Fifteen

The water was clear, endless, with only the occasional crest breaking up the boundless blue. The sky stretched out, not a wisp of a cloud in the sky.

The calm was broken when a midnight-blue sphere of energy appeared a dozen meters above the water. It popped, leaving behind Luna floating in midair. She craned her neck around to look at her passenger. “Did it work?”

The Doctor sat on her withers, sonic screwdriver high in the air and whirring. He looked at it, eyes narrow. “Come on, come on...” The emitter tip brightened slightly. A wide grin blossomed on his muzzle. “Quantum signature, check! Temporal... matched!” He thrust both forelegs into the air. “We're on the proper Earth at the proper time and–WHOA!” He toppled back off of Luna, falling to the sea.

Luna rolled her eyes. Her horn glowed, and the Doctor floated up and back onto her withers. “Calm yourself, Doctor. We have important work. I take it from your enthusiasm that the spell worked?”

The Doctor nodded. “This is Megan's Earth, and we simply traveled distance, not time. You did it perfectly, Princess.”

Another sphere of light appeared, this one a bright-white. It disappeared, leaving Celestia behind. She looked to Luna and the Doctor. “It worked?”

The Doctor waved his sonic screwdriver in Celestia's direction. “Hmm... and you're our Celestia, and not some quantum-duplicate from another reality. Yes, total success!” He looked around. “Mind... not sure where we are at the moment. Lots of water.”

Celestia's head craned around. “No land anywhere in sight. Could be the middle of the Pacific, the Atlantic, or anywhere else. We'd better get back to Canterlot. Or, Equestria at least.” Her horn glowed, and she disappeared once more in another ball of light.”

Luna's eyes went askance. “Ready, Doctor?”

The Doctor hunkered down. “Ready, Luna. Allon-sy!”

Luna rolled her eyes, but she teleported herself and the Doctor away.

Celestia appeared once more in the skies above Canterlot, Luna and the Doctor following soon after. She looked around, quickly spotting Megan and Mei Long as they floated near the top of one of the tallest towers in the city. “It worked!” Celestia shouted, smiling.

Megan smiled back. “Just like how Wind Whistler and I taught you.”

Mei Long nodded. “An excellent job. However, time is still short. We must head to Crystal Castle and the Princess Ponies.”

Celestia's expression turned grim. “I've contacted them, and they're ready. They mentioned something about calling in an 'expert'.” She shrugged as everyone looked to her. “I'm as mystified as you are. They didn't provide any more details beyond that.”

Megan nickered. “So that's where you got your 'mysterious mentor' thing from.” Her eyes slid to her left, her head soon following. “Danielle and Trixie are on the balcony of Canterlot Castle, and Danielle's waving to me.” She blinked and shook her head, mane flapping about. “And I hope I get changed back soon so I don't get used to telescopic vision.” She glance to Mei Long. “Five minutes?”

Mei Long grumbled, a deep bass that vibrated the air. “Any longer, and I shall fly down, pluck you from where you stand, and fly off with you!” She waved a talon at Megan. “And don't think I won't, young lady!”

Megan nodded, eyes wide. “Yes, ma'am!” She threw a foreleg up in salute before turning and flying down to the balcony below. She touched down in front of Danielle and Trixie. “Gotta make this quick,” she said, glancing over her shoulder at the serpentine dragon above.

Danielle smirked. “We heard.” She leaned over to a chair, reached behind it, and pulled out a lever-action rifle. She held it up, the intricate carvings on the barrel gleaming. “I just had a feeling you might need this.”

Megan's eyes half-closed. Her horn glowed, and the rifle was enveloped in her magic. She grunted, and the rifle half-flew out of Danielle's hands. It shot over to Megan's side, but stayed in place. “Thanks.”

Danielle held her hand up and waved. “I'll see you when you're you again, okay?”

Trixie spoke up. “Make sure to come back so you can tell me all about it for my next show, Megan. My ticket sales are riding on it!” she said, winking.

Megan nickered. “Sure thing, you two.” She sucked in a breath, spun about, and flew over to Mei Long. “Okay, how we doing this?”

Mei Long's head bobbed down and she motioned to it. “Ride on my head, Megan. It will be much faster that way. My furnace is firing at full capacity, and to be honest, you're still not really in control of your alicorn powers.”

Megan nickered. “No wonder you're 'the Wise'.” She looked over her shoulder as Celestia and Luna flew up to the pair. “I'll be back.”

Celestia hesitated before speaking. “I know. May Granny Bonnie guide and protect you, Megan.”

Luna looked to Mei Long, then to Megan. “Be careful, both of you. And Mei Long, thank you.”

Mei Long rolled her eyes. “You can thank me by cutting the farewells short! Time is of the essence!”

Megan's brow broke out in a cold sweat. She turned, and flew up to the top of Mei Long's head, the rifle following close behind. She gingerly planted all four hooves on her scales, magic gripping them to Mei Long. “All set, Mei Long. Let 'er rip!”

Celestia spoke once more. “I'll make sure to ask the Princess Ponies to let you snack on any crystals outside the castle, Mei Long!”

Mei Long spun about and flew off, tossing a wave at Celestia as she corkscrewed through the air, shrinking and quickly disappearing over the horizon.

Celestia and Luna both dove towards Canterlot Castle, landing on the balcony. “I shall go to Fort Bulwark and see how the Steel Hooves are doing,” Luna said. Her horn flared as she teleported away.

Celestia's head drooped as she sighed. Her mouth turned up slightly as Danielle and Trixie approached. “Let me guess. Wondering what my next idea is?”

The pair simply nodded.

Celestia's horn flared. The three disappeared, reappearing in the throne room. Celestia walked over to a door right behind the Solar Throne itself–the vault with the Elements of Harmony. She unlocked it and floated out the box containing them. “I think after this, I'm simply going to give each Element to their respective bearer so I don't have to go through this each time.”

Danielle shrugged. “Yeah, truth be told, I've been kinda wondering that myself. So, going to my Earth with them?”

Celestia nodded. “First a meeting with Cadance, but after that, I'll teleport over. I think I can be more accurate next time. I find Twilight and the others, wait for Optimus Prime to arrive, then I teleport all of us to that other Equestria.” Her eyes hardened. “We end it there.”

Trixie snorted. “You make it sound almost easy, Princess.”

Celestia fixed her with a withering glare, but it quickly passed. “A good point, Trixie. No plan survives the enemy and all that. Still, it's the best and most straight-forward plan I can come up with.”

Danielle nodded. “Best to keep it simple, this time around.”

Celestia bowed her head to the pair. “Thank you both for your help. I must be off, now. Time is of the essence, as Mei Long would remind us.” She half-closed her eyes. There was a flash of light, and Celestia vanished.

Trixie scraped a hoof across the floor. “So... I think Trixie's role in this tale is at an end, Danielle. I can't think of anything even my prodigious talents can help with.”

Danielle snorted. “Such modesty, Trixie.” She knelt down by her friend's side and gently ruffled her mane. “Thank you for what you did do. It's appreciated.” She glanced around. “And truth be told, I don't think there's anything more I can do, either.”

Trixie's head shifted a bit under Danielle's touch, but she kept her head mostly level. “You're welcome, Danielle. Back to Ponyville? I can teleport us both there in a flash!”

Danielle bit her lip. “Or... sky chariot? Just a thought.”

Trixie's eyes widened. “Oh, oh! Can we, can we? The last time was so much fun. When the Doctor and I weren't keeping you from falling out due to sheer exhaustion, that is.”

Danielle opened her mouth and held up her hand, but stopped short of speaking. “Fair cop,” she finally said. She looked about the room. “Taxi!”

Luna stood in the main office of Major General Romper Stomper. Sergeant Jack Robins stood off to the side, at ease and slightly confused as to his purpose at the meeting.

A hazy field of magic was floating besides Luna. The interior cleared, showing an image of Canterlot. “With the technique Megan taught me, I can open a portal to this other Equestria. I want you to lead the Steel Hooves through for a direct attack against them.”

Romper Stomper, sitting at his desk, leaned forward, eyes squinting. “Air support?”

Luna nodded. “Any units in Canterlot Province will be at your disposal, General.” She looked to her right. “Sergeant Robins?”

Jack snapped to attention. “Your majesty?”

Luna glanced to him. “Sergeant, can you and your crew have your tank ready to lead the charge into this so-called 'Neo-Equestria'?”

Jack's hands clenched slightly, and his eyes shone with inner determination. “Princess, it would be our genuine pleasure.”

Luna nodded to him. “Thank you, Sergeant. General, how soon can the Tank Corps be ready for deployment?”

Romper Stomper glanced at a clipboard on his desk. “We should be ready in about... two hours, your majesty.”

Luna gave him a short, sharp nod. “Thank you. I leave you to your plans and will meet you out in the field in one hundred-thirty minutes.” With that, she turned and left the office.

Romper Stomper slid out of his chair, trotted around his desk and up to Jack. “Sergeant, your tank and crew will be ready?”

Jack snapped to attention. “Yes, General!”

The stallion nodded. “Good. Dismissed, Sergeant. Good luck out there.”

Jack made his way through the Steel Hooves' main hangar as fast as he could. He quickly spotted his tank, right where it was supposed to be. Even better, his crew and mechanics were there as well. "We got orders!” he shouted. “We're moving out!”

Janet Kowalski snapped to attention as he approached. She exchanged a salute with Jack. “Thank you, Sergeant. Moving out to where?” Her eyes lit up. “Earth?”

Jack shook his head. He glanced up, making sure to look each person in the eye as he spoke. “We're the spear tip of an invasion of the false Equestria that's trying to take over Earth. We're leading the Steel Hooves and the air wing in.” He stepped around Janet and walked over to Rizzo and Zale.

“Like you said, Sergeant, at a moment’s notice.” Rizzo stated proudly from behind smudges of grease. “Power pack’s in the green, capacitors are purring, and the fuel’s been topped off.”

“We even had time after all that hard work to leave a mint on your dainty little pillow, sergeant,” Zale added.

“Yeah, yeah.” Jack smiled. It was good that they could still be relaxed at this moment. “Get your tracks ready. Once we punch through, we’ll need support, and that means you.” As they rushed off to ready their recovery vehicles for war, dozens of ponies moved around the vehicle bay, doing the same for their tanks. Ammo was loaded, engines were fired up, and orders were shouted over the growing noise.

“This is really it, Sergeant, isn’t it?” Racno said, a touch of hesitation in his voice.

“Looks that way.” He smiled and took on a teasing tone. “Not backing out on us now, are you?”

“No, Sergeant!”

“Because I can probably get that one mailmare to take your spot. Push comes to shove, I bet she’s got the right stuff.”

Racno laughed at that. “I just- I don’t know if I’m ready. Invading another world through a hole in space, time, and reality wasn’t covered in basic. I don’t want to let you guys down.”

Jack’s voice was firm but warm. “You trained to make a difference, right? So your world would never again be helpless against something like the Decepticons?”

“Yes, Sergeant.”

“That’s what we’re going to do. Make a difference. For your people, mine, and theirs.”

“Roger that, Sergeant!”

One hundred and one tanks were gathered in a field just outside of Fort Bulwark. One hundred of them were from the Equestrian Tank Corps, looking as if they had emerged from Earth's First World War. The final tank, in the fore of the group, its engine idling, was an M1A3 Abrams. Forty-eight pegasi, armed and armored, hovered over the tanks. At the rear were supply transports, repair vehicles, and ambulances.

Jack's upper body poked out of the Abrams' turret hatch. He looked around at the group, letting out a slow whistle. “Damn,” he said. Movement below caught his eye. He looked down and saw Blossomforth trotting over. “Sergeant,” he said, nodding to her.

Blossomforth returned the nod. “I just wanted to say good luck, Sergeant. The Steel Hooves have your flanks.”

Jack straightened up and saluted. “Thank you, Sergeant.”

Blossomforth returned the salute. “It appears you'll see first-hoof how our tanks operate.”

Jack smiled. “True. Not exactly how I planned to see it, but it should be a ... good demonstration of your technology.” The smile fell away. “See you on the other side.”

Blossomforth nodded to him. She then turned and galloped off to her own Mark XXIX tank.

Jack turned as Luna flew over the assembled group and touched down in front of them. She sucked in a large breath before speaking, using the Royal Canterlot Voice to maximum effect. “Soldiers of theSteel Hooves, of the Air Wing, and of the United States Army!” Her voice lowered slightly, but still carried over everyone. “Your mission is to strike at this alternate-Equestria, to help our human brothers and sisters. This false Equestria seeks to destroy their home, and we must help them in their time of need.”

Luna cantered around. She spread her wings to their fullest extent. Her horn glowed, and her eyes turned white. Her ethereal mane billowed out. A thin beam of magic shot from her horn, striking the air and boring a hole through the very fabric of reality. Luna grunted and hunched down as the hole expanded, showing a field of grass eerily similar to the one that lay before them.

Luna's legs tensed for a moment before she leaped into the air. “Go, now!” she shouted, the strain evident in her voice.

Jack grabbed the hatch cover. “Gun it, Kowalski!” he shouted as he slid down, pulling it close above him.

The Abrams shot forward, the front rising slightly. The one hundred tanks of the Steel Hooves followed behind, the non-combat vehicles trailing. The pegasi dove down low, flying through. Within a few minutes, the field was empty of all, save Luna.

Luna herself floated down to the ground, the beam still firing from her horn as she kept the portal open. “Until you return, I shall stand guard.”